Quebec’s indigenous leaders are denouncing Prime Minister Francois Legault for his decision not to meet with them during a two-day event called the Great Economic Circle of Indigenous Peoples and Quebec.
Indigenous leaders called the prime minister “arrogant”, “paternalistic” and “dishonest”.
They say Legault had only planned to comment at the meeting, but then agreed to answer three questions from indigenous leaders at the end of his speech.
Chief Royal McKenzie asked Legault about royalties owed to indigenous peoples in exchange for the use of their lands, and Chief John Martin asked the prime minister about First Nations communities that are excluded from access to natural resources. .
Ghislain Picard, head of the Quebec-Labrador Assembly of First Nations, criticized Legault for speaking to reporters after the speech and for not meeting with indigenous leaders.
The two-day event aims to bring together indigenous and non-indigenous entrepreneurs.